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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
SEP 01, 2021
Recognizing National Preparedness Month
There is no place that is entirely immune from the potential for disaster. Ready.gov’s
National Preparedness Month
is an annual observance to raise awareness about the importance of being prepared for emergencies and disasters. The campaign focuses on different aspects of preparedness each week. For businesses, this observance provides a great time to consider any specific risks that could impact employee safety and develop your own preparedness plan.
There are simple steps to implement an emergency preparedness plan for your business:
Become familiar with the types of natural disasters in your location
Each season brings its own unique challenges, and it is imperative to plan for the risks your business may face for each. Depending on your location, consider questions such as:
If you live in a tornado-prone area, do you have a safe place in or near your building?
For areas prone to fires, are there building remediation tools you can implement?
For hurricane-prone areas, what evacuation routes are available and how will you gather your employees and emergency disaster kit before leaving? This is an important consideration especially during hurricane season, forecast from June 1 through Nov. 30 and often reaching its peak during the month of September.
Make a schedule to conduct safety drills
Create a schedule to conduct safety drills for each type of emergency your employees may face. Your safety drill plans should include when to evacuate the premises and when to stay in place. In the event your employees are required to evacuate, include information in your plan on the routes that are available and how to access the company’s
Formalize your preparedness plan
Once you understand the range of risks you may face, there are additional considerations:
How to communicate with your employees before, during and after the disaster
Pandemic requirements to have on-hand for your location, such as mask mandates
Assigning safety officers for assisting others in the event of an emergency
Employees with special medical needs, including prescriptions and equipment
Review your insurance options
Businesses should make sure to review their insurance programs as they relate to the typical risks in their locations. Having the right type and amount of insurance can make the difference between a quick or more complicated disaster recovery. Consult your agent who can assist in determining what perils your policy covers and in what situations so you can decide if additional coverage may be needed and at what cost.
Ensure your business has an inventory of personal property and assess high-value items that may not be covered under your basic policy limits. Safeguard any important insurance documentation to ensure that you will be able to access them following a disaster.
For assistance in building a plan, you can utilize the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) preparedness guidebook
. While businesses may not be able to avoid a disaster, you can minimize the impacts by being prepared. Take advantage of the resources at
and use National Preparedness Month as the prompt to get a plan started for your company.